Iran on Sunday accused Asian football’s governing body of bias for a mooted ban on it hosting club matches, after a spate of security incidents including the downing of an airliner.
“It appears that the decision of your Competitions Committee was influenced by foreign media hostile” towards Iran, Sports Minister Masoud Soltanifar told the head of the Asian Football Confederation, according to the ministry’s news agency.
“Iran is a safe and powerful country… We have no problems regarding the security of aviation,” he was quoted as saying in the call with AFC chief Salman Bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa.
The minister said that in addition he would “personally guarantee the security of visiting football teams”.
The row comes as tensions soar between the West and Iran following the killing of top commander Qasem Soleimani in a US air strike in Baghdad on January 3.
Iran retaliated five days later by launching a wave of missiles at US troops stationed in neighbouring…
Source: Guardian Newspaper